Dental practice accreditation – in a market driven healthcare world

NSQHS Standard 10.3  says “Organisational clinical service capability, planning, and scope of practice is directly linked to the clinical service roles of the organisation”.

What does this mean in a consumer-driven free market healthcare service?
In our dental practice we do what we do! For me this means that I do the things I love, that I think I am pretty good at and I redirect people when I think that something has gone beyond my ‘comfort’ zone. Is this definable in a meaningful way in a policy document or business plan? Of course not.

Would attempting to define it improve standards of quality and safety in our practice. No! Each situation and person that comes under our care is a unique individual who requires their own unique attention. Flow charts are not the answer to all healthcare needs.

Recently I heard a singer on TV say that she does what she loves; ignores reality; and hope someone pays her for it. I loved what she said.

This Standard is one of the oddities that shows that “one size fits all”  health care organisation standards leads to incredibly frustrating and time wasting bureaucracy. We understand where this standard requirement comes from. In public hospital health patients are NOT realistically the consumer. It is incredibly hard to get up and walk out of a hospital that fails to deliver.

But this is not true of private dental practices and the risks and quality and safety of patients can not be seen to be improved by trying to make evidence of this statement.

Is it time for the ACSQHC to recognise situations where “patient centred focus” is market driven and moves from artificially imposed(by the NSQHC Standards) to an everyday business reality? Allied health practices need recognition for the problems we DON’T have. Perhaps the focus should be to look at us and follow the way we do things! (Rather than make us appear like mini-hospitals)

Quality and Accreditation – Dental introduction to accreditation

I recently attended a meeting talking about the new “ADA Introductory Dental Practice Accreditation Scheme“. Quite early in the meeting one of the dentists who had completed the accreditation said, “I think you should removed the word “Quality” from your publications if you want dentists to understand them”!

Wow! Get rid of quality!

Absolutely no – that was NOT what he meant. What he was trying to say was that for Dentists QUALITY means:

  • We do a fantastic colour-matched filling or crown with beautifully finished margins.

Because this is NOT the type of quality referred to with accreditation confusion occurs. Many dentists have signed up for accreditation without understanding the National standards (ACSQHC) and have been bitterly disappointed and surprised.

The ADA Introductory Dental Practice Accreditation Scheme would be better described as an introduction to dental practice safety processes “Accreditation Scheme”. There are many benefits in checking over the way your practice undertakes staff and patient safety procedures.e.g.

  • When did you last update or complete at your staff’s immunisation records?
  • What sort of new staff induction do you run?
  • Have your staff been kept up-to-date with confidentiality requirements (e.g. social media)?
  • Are you sure you are recording your sterilising processes correctly?

At SmartDentist we have started the “try before you buy” accreditation page so you can work through the accreditation requirements BEFORE you pay out for the “Introduction to accreditation” certificate. We believe that if the requirements for accreditation are a good idea – then dental practices should be encouraged to do them whether they pay for a certificate or not.
Isn’t the aim to encourage safe practice?
Let’s make it easy and transparent.